Saturday, July 27, 2013

You can SHOVE your tolerance. A fireside chat.

I’m considered by most who know me to be a very positive person. I go out of my way to say something nice and true to the people in my life everyday. It’s a trick my grandfather taught me. “Make someone’s day just a little bit better for having come into contact with you.” It’s really simple and could make all the difference in the world. When it comes down to answering the question, “How was your day?”
“Well, John told me that I was having a good hair day. What a jerk!”
See? The world just doesn’t work that way. 

That said, it’s time I bring up the subject of tolerance. It’s crummy verbiage. When someone, for whatever reason, clad with a beaming sanctimonious smile, offers the olive branch of tolerance, you should smack them in the face with the broad side of a rubber spatula. I’m referring in this instance to your lifestyle. Lifestyle, I realize, is painting with a very broad brush, but I’m trying to be inclusive.  If someone tolerates your lifestyle, it says that their opinion on the subject actually means something. In this case, I’m referring to organizations or communities looking down their noses at you for whatever reason.

Tolerance is a word of condescension. Religious organizations and political parties use it in the sense of  “I will permit you do whatever it is that you do but only because I am the bigger person, but it none-the-less annoys me. Sarah Palin is only barely tolerant of gays even existing.  Michelle Bachmann espouses that we have religious tolerance in this country, and she’s ok with that. Well thanks ladies, it’s mighty white of you to smile through gritted teeth and allow us to breathe the same air as you.  Also, it’s a word of noncommittal mediocrity, like a hole in your sock is tolerated. You've already left the house and there's nothing you can do about it (Thanks Beck.). Tolerance is trying to be ok with something (kinda).
To quote Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
Tolerance is like choosing to drink lukewarm milk at the beach because the group you’re with is keen on it.  Sure, you’re dying of thirst and this keeps you from completely dehydrating, but for Christ’s sake, order a margarita already.

Sarah reports that she’s tolerant of adults choosing the partners that they deem appropriate for them. Um, thank you? As far as any relationship is concerned, unless you are personally in it, you’re opinion about it is irrelevant. You’re not a participant in this relationship, so…you can eat a booger.

As far as religious tolerance is concerned, your relationship with whatever deity you serve, or lack there of, is entirely your business. No one can come between you and your faith unless you let them. Anyone who says they will or will not tolerate you because of their religion is someone who is begging to be introduced to your spatula.  That’s their faith that they’re trying to align you with, and if you bend to it, then you’re opening the door to bending on the next whim and fancy that their religion beckons…and the next one…and the next one. Tolerance is a word you should be insulted by.

It is a privilege to be in someone's life. It truly is. Conversely, it is an equal privilege to be in mine. Those who do not respect that relationship need not be there. Tolerance is a word I despise. Do not dare condescend to tolerate me because I absolutely will not tolerate you doing so.
Celebrate me. I will raise a glass to you.

You can shove your tolerance.